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Bud's Beat

By: Bud Pisarek, Loomis News Correspondent
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Humans like to know what’s going on. Networks and cable give us 24-7 news and our newspaper presses are humming right along. Gossip columns have no trouble finding readers. It’s not that we’re nosy; it’s the nature of humans to want to know what’s going on. The Internet has provided an easy way to research our heritage. People are flocking to various programs that trace their lineage. Church records are also good sources of family history. Records maintained by the Mormon Church are available to researchers and individuals. As youngsters, we ask our parents, “Where did I come from?” I was surprised when recently my young grandson asked about our past. Who were our grandparents? What country did they come from? My grandparents on both of my parents’ side came from Poland. Grandma and grandpa came here in the middle 1850s and settled in the Midwest. Birth certificates, baptism records, and letters my parents had assured me that was so. A cousin, stationed in Germany after World War II, did a little research when he visited Poland. Lo and behold, our Polish lineage is not all that pure. Grandma Anna Raszeja, my mother’s mother, was a descendant of a Lebanese rascal. After a stint as a mercenary fighter in Napoleon’s army, he engaged in the Egyptian war and stayed on to fight the Russians. Her father, Albert, was a direct decedent of (Maciej) Mathias, a Lebanese soldier. It seems that when he marched across the frozen tundra of Poland on the way to the Russian front he decided to stay behind in the Poznan area and raise a family. His sons Mackmillan, Francnek and Leon became heroes in the fight against the Nazis. The town dedicated a plaque in their honor.